Marsha Lawrence, Contributor
Casey, the new girl at work, invited me to her cousin's wedding. She said I reminded her of her elder sister who had died the year before, so I accepted the invitation even though I knew I would recognise no one there. I would be the ultimate stranger.
Casey was in awe of the couple, so she began to show me pictures of them. Immediately, images and memories of my own wedding day came rushing back to me.
It was a lovely day, I was going to marry Blake Rivers - the man of my dreams! We met in the supermarket, our carts crashed into each other and we laughed because it frightened us both - it's like we were miles away and then fate created this divine accident so we could meet.
We dated for three years before Blake proposed.
It was spring and we went walking in the park. We sat by the fountain, holding hands and saying nothing.
It was one of those comfortable silent moments. But then he said, "Do you know what I want, Kerry?"
The sudden question brought on a feeling of abandonment so, hesitantly, I answered, "What do you want, Blake?"
He said, "I want to marry ... you."
Until that moment, I never knew the meaning of one's heart skipping beats, and I never knew my tears could flow so sweetly. I was overwhelmed, surprised, but extremely happy.
He smiled at my tears, and then laced his forehead gently on mine and whispered, "I promise to love you, care for you and make you happy, because I don't ever want to lose you. You make me happy, Kerry."
He kissed me slow and at that precise moment I knew I wanted this man forever and always.
We decided on a small wedding, strictly family and close friends. I cried through the whole ceremony, while Blake smiled and dropped tiny kisses on my face, hands and neck.
When we were pronounced husband and wife, Blake and I kissed for exactly four minutes, my sister recorded.
That was six years ago, and I still recall that proposal and his promise to me. He became an excellent father to our three children and an exquisite husband sometimes.
I've been missing him terribly for the past two months. I miss his voice and even his quirky habits. The kids miss him more.
" 'It was love at first sight,' they said." Casey broke in.
"How long have they been together?" I asked.
"Only a year, but they seem to want this marriage badly. You see, my cousin wants her fiancÚ to be a part of the family officially because he's practically a loner - no family, and only a mutual friend through whom they both met. It's sad really." Casey lamented.
I asked that question because they did seem quite happy, and because the lonely groom-to-be in the picture, was my husband, Blake Rivers. It couldn't be! He was supposed to be in New York promoting his company's newest perfume! We talked last night on the phone! I felt the building blocks that, only a minute ago was my whole life, fall to the ground and become sand. It must be a mistake, there are look-alikes all over the world. Blake would never hurt me and break his promise!
"What are their names?" I whispered.
"Fiona's my cousin and her fiancÚ's name is Blake."
I never asked another question. I painfully took the invitation, and the address was on the other side of town, so no one would know and reveal his secret. So I went, and I sat in the car across from the church, waiting. I waited until the guests disappeared inside. I waited until the bridal party arrived, and waited until the bride's entrance was heralded. I even waited until the chapel doors closed behind her, and then I went in, but I didn't stop until I was at the altar, sharing the spotlight.
I ignored the horrified faces, and Blake's pale, ghost-like expression. Then I took the mike from the pastor, and in the calmest, sweetest voice, said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but the groom forgot to invite me - his wife - to his wedding, and I want to know why."